George Méliès

film 65 of 70

The Black Imp

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jun 19, 2015

More of the most non-toxic demons in film history. The shocking transformations are okay, and pretty familiar by now. Getting to be a bit rote? The superb Méliès will eventually enter into a decline, or he’ll be bypassed as so many things march past the marvelous methods that he innovated and perfected and then wouldn’t abandon. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here.

The conclusion, where the bed burns down and the victim gets blamed, is nicely bourgeois-bashing. The best part is the tiny fragment at the beginning when the guest tweaks the maid in gentlemanly fashion, and she objects in a firm and friendly way, and he apologizes gallantly, without either licentious presumption or a remorse he doesn’t actually feel. France!